• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Inadequate financing, poor nutrition challenging milk production in Nigeria — Dairy group

Inadequate financing, poor nutrition challenging milk production in Nigeria — Dairy group

The Commercial Dairy Ranchers Association of Nigeria (CODARAN) has highlighted poor nutrition for lactating cows, inadequate funding, among others as major challenges affecting milk production in Nigeria.

The National president of CODARAN, Dianabasi Akpainyang disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja, while calling for a concerted effort in addressing them.

According to him, lactating cows are also poorly fed by smallholder dairy farmers, who traverse the country in search of available forage and water sources, while paying little or no attention to the nutritional content and suitability of the feed and water their cows consume.

He said, “Poor nutrition translates to low milk quality and quantity, leading to low income.

“Other challenges within the milk production space are poor animal disease management; with pastoralists lacking access to proper veterinary services for their cattle.

“There is also the low adoption of technology in production as the pastoralists stick to outdated animal husbandry practices and do not possess the financial capacity required to adopt new technology.”

For him, the most crippling challenges in the dairy sector are found in all the activities that take place after the milk is extracted from the cow to when it gets to a processing facility or the open market.

These activities include milk collection, aggregation, storage, and transportation.

He decried that the level of public and private investment in this important part of the dairy value chain is abysmally low.

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“To state the obvious, even if the capacity of the upstream (production) sub-sector is enhanced and increased, the inefficiencies of the midstream sub-sector would still cause wastages and keep Nigeria largely dependent on imported milk – spending over $1.5billion to import about 70 percent of its milk needs.

“Lack of organised milk collection schemes, high cost of milk collection and cold chain facilities, poor transportation infrastructure, unstable or non-existent electricity supply, pervasive insecurity, and low access to finance are some of the challenges that affect smooth operations in the midstream aspect of the dairy sector.

“The processing and marketing aspect (downstream) of the dairy value chain also faces the threats of low investments, poor access to finance and a weak regulatory environment,” he said.

Commenting on the 2023 World Milk Day with the theme, ‘Sustainable Dairy: Good for Planet, Good for you’, Director General, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Victoria Akai said, “Milk is a very vital nutrient to healthy diet of human development especially for young and aged people.

According to her, many households depend on milk for their diets from cheese, beverages and baking foods of all kinds.

She however noted that in Nigeria, 37 percent of about 31 million children under five years are stunted as a result of malnutrition. “Thus, the need for more production of milk for consumption and national economic growth.”

She called on the necessary authorities in Nigeria to ensure adequate production of milk for sufficiency, adding that this will serve as a catalyst for business development and as well bridging the gap of local milk supply.

The 2023 world milk day will be commemorated in Abuja from May 30 to June 1, 2023.